About Cataract Eye Problems
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye that causes blurry or dim vision.
Cataracts are a common cause of vision problems among people in their 50’s and 60’s and the most common cause of vision loss in seniors. More than 20 million people above 40 years of age and more than half of those above age 80 suffer from cataracts. For many patients, development of cataracts starts slowly and has little effect on vision. But as a cataract becomes denser, the symptoms begin to impact vision, driving, and overall quality of life.
People who develop a cataract often experience some common symptoms that may include:
- Blurring or Clouding of Vision
- Glare, or Light Sensitivity
- Poor Night Vision especially with driving
- Double Vision in One Eye or a Shadowy Image
- Needing Brighter Light to Read
- Fading or Yellowing of Colors
The symptoms of cataracts are related to the changes that occur in the crystalline lens as the cataract develops. As we progress through our 50’s and 60’s, the normally “crystal” clear lens may gradually become yellow and cloudy. When this occurs, you may initially experience a mild blurring of your vision and feel you might need a change of eyeglasses, you may notice that it is not as easy to see well and comfortably in dim illumination, such as for night driving and you may notice that colors look faded. The cloudiness may also create glare, haloes, light sensitivity and a continuing decrease in your vision. If the crystalline lens becomes too cloudy it may cause a significant decrease in both your day and night vision. These are the visual symptoms you may notice when the eye’s lens has clouded and formed a cataract.
Cataract surgery is one of the most frequently performed, safest and most successful surgical procedures in the United States today, with more than 3.5 million cataract surgeries each year. Patients having cataract surgery in Philadelphia have come to recognize Nevyas Eye Associates and the Delaware Valley Laser Surgery Institute as pioneers in the development and advancement of cataract surgery and lens implant techniques, instrumentation and procedures. We were one of the first eye surgery practices in the Delaware Valley to perform modern cataract surgery using Phacoemulsification, and were among the first practices to correct vision using intraocular lens implants (IOL). Our cataract surgeons use the most modern techniques – a small incision, “no stitch, no needle, no patch”, performed on an outpatient basis. Our surgeries are currently performed at Lankenau Medical Center and at Crozer Health Surgery Center at Haverford.
When you arrive at Lankenau Medical Center or Haverford Surgery Center, the staff will check you in and review any paperwork that might require clarification or additional information. You will be escorted to a private changing area and asked to cover your street clothes with a gown and your shoes with “booties”. Once you are ready you will be escorted to a comfortable waiting area.
Preparation for your actual procedure will begin with a staff member placing some drops in your eye to dilate your pupil. Your eye will then be treated with an anesthetic so that you will feel little if anything during your surgery. For most patients this involves having a few sets of eye drops placed in your eyes. Typically, it is not necessary for your cataract surgeon to use any injections or needles to anesthetize your eye. In order to help you relax, a small dose of anti-anxiety medication will be given as directed by your eye surgeon. Your cataract surgeon will place a very tiny incision at the outermost edge of your cornea and will gently pass a microscopic instrument through the tiny incision to create an opening in the capsule of the cloudy lens material. Using another precise microscopic instrument your eye surgeon will use sound waves to gently break the cataract into pieces small enough to be washed away, drawn through the instrument and removed from your eye. Lastly, a new, crystal clear permanent intraocular lens implant (IOL) will be inserted and placed in the correct position through the same tiny incision at the outer edge of the cornea through which the cataract was removed. The actual surgical procedure is painless and brief. Along with our surgeons, our nurses and staff are dedicated to making your experience pleasant. We will arrange for you to be seen at Nevyas Eye Associates/Moore Eye Institute within 24 to 48 hours of your surgery so we can examine your eye and confirm that you are healing and seeing as planned. Although each patient will heal a little bit differently, the majority of patients are able to see well enough to return to their routine daily activities within a day or so after their cataract surgery.
For patients having cataract surgery & lens implants with Nevyas Eye Associates: During your evaluation, you and your surgeon will work together to select the type of lens implant best for you. This is customized according to
- the health of your eyes
- your visual goals
- the sharpest vision achievable
Depending upon the degree of independence from glasses and contact lenses you desire, and which focal distance will best suit your needs, along with the results of advanced diagnostic imaging and testing, your surgeon, often consulting with your own family eye doctor, will recommend the best option for you.
With the use of advanced diagnostic imaging and testing, we customize the selection of your lens implant. Advanced imaging tells us the shape of your cornea so that we can treat asymmetry, astigmatism and other corneal aberrations in order to give you the sharpest possible vision.
Your surgeon may recommend special Advanced Technology Lens Implants that do some combination of
- correcting astigmatism
- neutralizing optical aberrations
- helping to provide an extended range of focus from far to arm’s length to near
After a detailed discussion with your surgeon regarding your lens options, if you decide that the best option for you is an astigmatism-correcting toric lens implant and/or extended range of focus near vision lens implant, our staff will explain the details of your special lens implant surgery.
For patients with cataracts, most insurance companies will cover a large portion of the surgery. If Advanced Technology Lens Implants are selected, an additional upgrade fee is required to obtain these premium lenses. Our insurance specialists can tell you the portion of your surgery that will be covered by your insurance, as well as assist you with financing options as needed.